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Life, Designed for Photograph: Bec Parsons

If we wanted snapshots from inside the most unspoiled moments of our reveries, Bec Parsons would be the one to put to the job. As the photographer whose name is now synonymous with her very own publication, LOVE WANT, and splashed amidst the pages of the country’s leading fashion journals, including Russh, Harpers, Yen and Oyster, Bec has shaped Australian fashion editorial with her unmistakable signature. Whether capturing the essence of a mid-afternoon slumber, the art of shielding the sun from one’s eye or an unintentional instant of contemplation, she makes it seem as though life’s every moment must be designed for a photograph. Her shoot’s stories range from bold visions of nightlife to daydreams on the brink of innocence lost, but her aesthetic remains constant throughout. At the end of the day, she is revealing the beauty within simplicity, and her images urge viewers to look around and see the splendour for themselves.

“I love to capture the in-between moments,” she explains.

“The best pictures are taken when the subject is relaxed, when they don't even know I’m taking the picture. I love to capture vulnerability.”

To know Bec’s work is, ultimately, to know stylist Imogene Barron’s work. The two have a seamless working relationship, one which is responsible from some of the most standout editorials over the past few years. It is this shared vision that also led the two of them to create LOVE WANT, their biannual passion project which allows them to pursue their creative vision exactly as it stands in their imagination. Most recently released in November of last year, Bec says it has been “wonderful to have a vehicle to get my pictures out to the world.”

Before LOVE WANT was, of course, the other magazines, and before them, the beginning. Attracted to the viewfinder from childhood, Bec received her first real camera in year 12, which enabled her passion to grow up a little. At uni, she realised she wanted to shoot fashion, so she proceeded to contact her favourite photographer at the time, Pierre Toussaint, who had his own magazine, Processed. After learning the ropes, she packed ship to London, where she worked with Valerie Phillips. After four years of assisting, she broke out on her own. “The hardest thing is for clients to give you a go. When you’re young its can be rather challenging,” she replies as the most frustrating element in trying to get noticed.

“I remember when my first editorial was published in Oyster - I was so excited I bought five copies.”

Bec certainly does not take the pure devotion she has to her profession for granted. She is fortunate enough to already be working on her dream job (LOVE WANT), so she is, indeed, creatively fulfilled: “Every day is different. I love getting different briefs, not knowing where each shoot will take me.”

With one click of Bec’s hand, summer becomes saturated, slumber parties become cool again and life appears as though it would be better played in a black and white photograph. Urging aspiring photographers to constantly take pictures (after all, “you don't learn unless you have a camera in your hands”), Bec insists that good photography is relative, but one element must be present – the emotion.

“I guess if you feel something when looking at a photograph, whether good or bad, it’s evoked something within you…. and that’s where inspiration comes from.”

Bec Parsons

words: Seema Duggal


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